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To Move or not to Move: What Drives Residential Mobility Rates in the OECD?

  • Aida Caldera Sánchez
  • Dan Andrews

Residential mobility is closely tied to housing market forces and has important implications for labour mobility and the efficient allocation of resources across the economy. This paper analyses patterns of residential mobility across OECD countries and the role of housing policies in enhancing or hampering residential mobility. Based on cross-sectional household data for 25 countries, the results suggest that differences in residential mobility across countries are partially related to differences in public policies. After controlling for household and country-specific characteristics, residential mobility is higher in countries with lower transaction costs, more responsive housing supply, lower rent controls and tenant protection. Residential mobility tends also to be higher in environments with greater access to credit, suggesting that financial deregulation – by lowering borrowing costs and facilitating access to mortgage finance – facilitates mobility. This cross-country evidence is supported by city and state-level evidence for the United States, which also highlights the potential risks that high leverage rates pose to residential mobility. Déménager ou ne pas déménager : quels sont les déterminants des taux de mobilité résidentielle dans l'OCDE? La mobilité résidentielle est étroitement liée aux dynamiques du marché du logement et a des implications importantes pour la mobilité professionnelle et la répartition efficace des ressources dans l'économie. Ce document analyse les tendances de la mobilité résidentielle dans les pays de l'OCDE et le rôle des politiques du logement dans le renforcement ou l?obstruction de la mobilité résidentielle. Sur la base des enquêtes auprès des ménages pour 25 pays, les résultats indiquent que les différences dans la mobilité résidentielle entre les pays sont en partie liées aux différentes politiques des gouvernements. Après avoir contrôlé pour les caractéristiques du ménage et celles propres à chaque pays, la mobilité résidentielle est plus élevée dans les pays où les coûts de transaction, le contrôle des loyers et la protection des locataires sont plus faibles, et l'offre de logements plus elevée. La mobilité résidentielle est aussi plus élevée dans les environnements avec un plus grand accès au crédit, ce qui suggère que la déréglementation financière - en réduisant les coûts d'emprunt et en facilitant l'accès au financement hypothécaire - facilite la mobilité. Ces résultats sont soutenus par une analyse au niveau ville et États pour les États-Unis, qui met également en évidence les risques potentiels que posent un taux d'endettement élevé à la mobilité résidentielle.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 846.

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Date of creation: 18 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:846-en
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